Our Management Team

Our Leadership Team

Irihāpeti Mahuika

Pou Whakarae | Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Irihāpeti Mahuika (Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō) is our Pou Whakarae: Chief Executive Officer. She is new to the Hawke’s Bay and brings leadership which is grounded in collaboration and connection across the Primary and Community care. Irihāpeti has a great passion for Kaupapa Māori and believes that strong, mana-enhancing relationships with communities centered around whānau are key to empowering whānau to be leaders of their Hauora.

Fiona Thomson

Medical Recruitment Manager
  • Principal Advisor, General Practice NZ
  • Member, PES Governance Group
  • Member, General Practice Leaders’ Forum
  • PSAAP Appointed Agent, General Practice NZ

Fiona has a background in accounting, financial services and information systems and has been in executive management positions within primary care for 20 years.  Other industries she has worked in include finance, pulp and timber, meat processing and local government.

Fiona has a particular interest in the information platforms underpinning clinical service delivery and integrated care.  She was influential in the development of the GP2GP electronic file transfer service, the Integrated Performance and Incentive Framework (now Systems Level Measures), the NZ ePrescription Service and the National Enrolment Service. She was a founding Director of Patients First Ltd, the NZ quality and information programme for integrated care and a former chair of the NZ Primary Care Patient Experience Survey governance group.

Fiona divides her time between her work commitments in Wellington and Hawke’s Bay and her home in Napier.

Henry Heke

General Manager Māori Health

The Health Hawke’s Bay team has welcomed Henry Heke into the role of Group Manager Māori Health. Henry has accepted a 12-month secondment whilst still continuing with his role at HBDHB as Head of Intersector and Special Projects.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Henry spearheaded the Tihei Mauri Ora Emergency Response Centre to support Hawke’s Bay Māori and Pasifika communities which extended to include the Multi-cultural Association. His team made sure whānau pounamu (vulnerable families) received welfare support which included food parcels, clothing, and firewood deliveries.

Henry spent 15 years with Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry for Māori Development) as a Māori Business Growth Advisor before moving into health. Henry’s appointment will enable Health Hawke’s Bay and HBDHB to work collaboratively and share the vision of ‘whānau ora, hapori ora’ (healthy families, healthy communities). Henry is passionate about te reo and tikanga, supporting kaupapa Māori practices at Health Hawke’s Bay.

Tammy O’Neill

General Manager Finance and Commercial

Tammy is a Chartered Accountant and manages the finance function at Health Hawke’s Bay. She is responsible for the company’s monthly financial reporting, statutory annual reporting and assists the wider team with financial analysis for our various programmes as required.

Brendan Duck

Clinical Director Primary Care

Brendan grew up in Rotorua, moving to Hawke’s Bay in 2011 to an innovative role in general practice as a clinical pharmacist, becoming a director of the practice in 2015.  Brendan studied Pharmacy at Otago University, with post-graduate study in Clinical Pharmacy, Primary Healthcare, and Pharmacist Prescribing.  My most recent roles included being a pharmacist prescriber in long-term conditions and an ongoing role as System Lead for Medicines at Te Whatu Ora, Te Matau a Māui.

Brendan has widespread experience across primary care and pharmacy, prior to coming to Hawke’s Bay, Brendan owned a community pharmacy in Taranaki for 8 years.

The innovative work in general practice Brendan has been involved with has received recognition nationally for its integrated approach, medicine safety, and equity of health outcomes.  Brendan has a strong interest in enhancing health and wellbeing through interprofessional collaboration, with a particular focus on working alongside Māori and Pacific to help them achieve Pae ora – healthy futures.   

Janice Byford-Jones

Poutāhū Rau Kawakawa/Acting Interim General Manager – Clinical Services

Kia ora koutou
I tipu ake ahau ki te taha o te maunga Epping Forest
I tipu ake ahau ki te taha o te awa Thames
Ko Essex tōku tangata
Nō London ahau
Ka mihi ahau ki te iwi o te rohe Ngāti Kahungunu
Kei Karaenema ahau e noho ana
Kei Poutāhū Rau Kawakawa – Te Oranga Te Matau a Māui
Ko Janice Byford-Jones tōku ingoa

My name is Janice Byford-Jones, originating from London, I moved to Aotearoa in 2001 after visiting a couple of times on rugby tours. I played rugby for over 18 years, 7 of these at international level for England. I have a background in education and nursing. I taught at various high schools in Cambridge and London and at a specialist school for neuro-diverse tamariki for over 10 years and have had over 30 years of nursing experience in practice areas of Medical/Surgical, Occupational Health, ATR and specialised in Emergency Nursing.

During my 22 years in NZ, I have furthered my career through holding positions including Professional Development and Recognition Manager, Nurse Leadership roles in the areas of Women, Children, Theatre and ICU at Capital and Coast DHB and also Associate Director of Nursing at the Wairarapa DHB. I was seconded to the Nursing Council of New Zealand and held the role of Health and Complaints Advisor which was a privilege to experience. In addition to this I also worked in the 3 DHB planning and funding department then known as the Service Improvement and Development Unit (SIDU).

I had the opportunity to move to Te Matau a Māui, to work at Radius Medical Solutions (later Green Cross Health) and enjoyed the primary care experience, networking, learning and travel before spending 7 years as CEO at Cranford Hospice. After a year of consultancy work, I have joined HHB to assist in the amazing mahi to support the vision of ‘whānau ora, hapori ora’ (healthy families, healthy communities). I am passionate about people and enabling those to be the best they can be, am on my journey with te reo and tikanga and am an avid All Blacks fan. I love reading, music, walking my dog Honey and eating good food.

Jude McRae

Pouārahi Whakarae | Executive Assistant

Jude has an extensive administrative background in the health sector, having previously worked with ACC and District Health Boards, as well as private hospital, laboratory, disability, allied health, primary care, and residential care facilities.  Jude has been with the organisation since 2021 and provides a proactive and dedicated executive level of support to the CEO and Executive Leadership Team.

Jude is a loyal and dedicated Health Hawke’s Bay team member and plays a pivotal role across the organisation.  She is passionate about our values and is known for taking the time to recognise, and quietly acknowledge, the achievements of others.  She is enjoying her Te Reo Māori journey and strives to expand her learnings each day.

Born in Taranaki, but raised mainly in Taupō and Whanganui, Hawke’s Bay has been Jude’s home ground for the past 18 years.  She is married with two adult children in their 20s and loves the beach, the lake, reading, walking, yoga, bowling and socialising with whānau and friends.